Considering converting your WordPress site to a mobile app? Try a WordPress mobile app builder.
If building an app is not something you've been thinking about, move it to the front of your to-do list. Mobile today is the number one way we access the web and consume content. So providing the best user experience possible for your mobile users should be a priority.
This post will help if you've already got a successful WordPress website, but you're not sure where to start with building a mobile app. The WordPress mobile app builders in this post will allow you to go live with your own native mobile app, even if you have no idea how to code an app, and can't afford to hire expensive freelancers or development agencies.
What is a WordPress Mobile App Builder?
A WordPress mobile app builder is a tool that lets you convert your existing WordPress site into apps for iOS/Android devices.
Each tool might do this a little differently. Some app builders give you a full drag-and-drop builder to create the front end of your app, and use WordPress plugins and APIs to pull in your WordPress content.
Others do the same thing, but with a simpler, template-based front end, giving you less flexibility but less work required to launch.
Alternatively, you can use a tool that fully replicates the look, experience and functionality of your WordPress website, including all your existing plugins and themes, and any custom-built features, in the wrapper of a native mobile app.
The end result of all these tools is to allow you to build and launch a mobile app, which your users can download locally to their mobile device, while you continue to use the WordPress backend to publish and manage content.
Why Should You Convert Your WordPress Site to a Mobile App?
Is it essential to have a mobile app version of your site?
While not definitively a must-have, building a mobile app for your site can deliver some huge benefits, and help you scale your business.
Nearly 60% of web traffic today comes on mobile, putting it comfortably ahead of desktop in terms of total market share.
That means mobile needs to be a core consideration when building your WordPress site. It’s not good enough anymore to build only for desktop and ignore mobile.
But having said that, you’re probably not ignoring mobile, are you? You've put care into making sure your site is optimized for mobile browsers, so you're still catering to your mobile users, right?
That’s a start. But mobile websites just don’t stack up to what you can provide with an app.
Here are three reasons that apps are worth your consideration.
While the user experience you get with mobile websites has improved a lot in recent years, it still isn’t the same as consuming content in an app.
When people access the internet on their mobile devices, 90% of the time it’s via apps, over mobile browsers. Why? Because of the improved user experience.
Apps are built specifically for mobile. They’re easier and faster to open - you just hit the icon on your home screen, no need to type the URL in the browser’s address bar.
Once you’re in, it’s easier to get around in an app than a mobile website. The layout, design, navigation, menus and more are all designed for the mobile user. There are no annoying browser tabs getting in the way.
Apps can also make use of functions on your mobile device, such as GPS and camera, and can be accessed offline. There’s just a lot more that can be done if you don’t need to go through a browser to access your site.
Another feature that apps offer is push notifications.
These messages, sent to app users’ home screen, are an amazing way to get people into your app more often.
Compared to emails, social media posts, or even SMS messages, push notifications get seen more, and generate more engagement. They let users get into the app with just a single click, which is far better than any other communication channel.
You can send push notifications from mobile websites, but what you can do with them is limited. And you can't send them on iOS devices.
To really use push notifications properly, you need a mobile app.
Brand presence & loyalty
A mobile app can be a big boost for your brand, and help you develop a base of loyal followers.
When someone downloads your mobile app, your brand remains on their home screen, right there in the user’s consciousness every time they open their phone. Contrast that with a mobile website, which disappears as soon as the user closes the browser or navigates away.
Downloading an app is also a big display of loyalty. It self-selects your most loyal users, and fosters a further increase in loyalty among this subset of users.
Finally, being able to publish your app in the app stores gives you another channel through which to get eyeballs on your brand, as well as a powerful trust signal, when you’re able to say that your app is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Best WordPress App Builders in 2023
As we've established, apps deliver huge benefits for your brand and your business. But native app development is long, complicated and expensive - whether you contract an agency or do it in-house.
That’s why you should use a WordPress app builder. These tools break down the barrier of entry, allowing anyone to launch a mobile app, regardless of expertise or budget. There are a number of options out there, from WordPress mobile app plugins, to self-contained app builders that pull in the content from your WordPress website.
Wondering which is the best tool out there? We’ve broken down a few of the best options ahead.
MobiLoud is the most powerful option to convert your WordPress site to mobile apps. It’s the fastest way to create and launch your apps, and is the easiest to manage long-term.
Some WordPress app builders require you to design your app interface from scratch. Others force you into limited templates, and don’t fully replicate the user experience of your website.
But with MobiLoud, you can seamlessly convert what already works for you on your website into Android/iOS mobile apps.
Your apps will actually display a live version of your mobile-optimized site, but with the addition of mobile-specific features, such as navigation, menus and unlimited push notifications.
This means you can retain the same WordPress theme, WordPress plugins, logins, checkouts and custom features that already work on your site.
This makes it so much easier to manage your web/Android/iOS platforms simultaneously. Any changes you make to your site get reflected in your apps at the same time. This means you're never left playing catch-up trying to keep your website and apps in sync.
MobiLoud also makes it much easier to go to market with the first version of your mobile app. You don't need to rebuild or redesign anything. Aside from a few small things to configure as to how you want your app to look, it’s completely hands-off. MobiLoud’s team builds your apps, you just need to sit back and wait a few days for the build to be ready.
MobiLoud also handles support and maintenance for your apps, as well as publishing your apps to the App Store and Google Play. Not many (if any) app builders offer the level of personalized support that you get with MobiLoud.
MobiLoud is perfect for converting any WordPress site to mobile apps - or indeed from any other platform. It’s great for WooCommerce stores, news sites, blogs, web apps, online communities, learning platforms, and much more.
- Works with any kind of site - from ecommerce to online magazines to forums.
- Maintains all the functionality of your existing site.
- Hands-off; no need to rebuild or redesign anything. App store publishing is done for you.
- Fast to launch your apps, and the easiest way to keep your app and web platforms in sync.
- Comes with unlimited push notifications and everything you need to monetize your app.
- MobiLoud's team offers ongoing support for maintenance and updates.
Pricing: starting from $200 per month ($170/mo paid annually), plus setup fees. 50% discount available on the first year for early stage startups.
Click here to schedule a free demo call to see how MobiLoud can work for your site.
AppMySite is a simple tool that lets you convert your WordPress site to a mobile app in just a few minutes.
All you need to do to start is create an account and enter your website’s URL. From here, you customize your color theme and a few elements of the interface, connect your site using the AppMySite WordPress plugin, and publish.
AppMySite is cheap, and even offers a free plan that lets you play around with all the features and the design of your app (you’ll need to upgrade to actually publish your app).
The downside is that it's quite limited. You can only really build a basic, cookie-cutter mobile app, made from a very simple template. Any plugins or advanced features from your WordPress website most likely won't work in your mobile app either.
You also need to do all the setup, publish to the app stores, and maintain your app, all by yourself.
For a small site that's mostly just plain, basic content, AppMySite is a good and affordable option. For more established businesses with the need for more flexibility, you'll want to look for a more sophisticated app builder.
- Cheap and easy to get started, with instant app delivery.
- Free plan allows you to try it out, risk-free.
- Design options are slightly limited.
- Need to design the app & publish to app stores yourself.
Pricing: starts free, ranges from $29-$99 per month to publish your apps on iOS and Android.
Check out our comparison between AppMySite and MobiLoud, and see which tool is the best choice for you.
AppPresser gives you the WordPress experience for mobile apps.
With AppPresser, you start with a customizable mobile app template. You can tinker and play around with this template to make it look the way you want, and then pull in your app content by installing their WordPress mobile app plugin.
The visual builder looks and feels very similar to the theme customizer on WordPress, which is a nice touch of familiarity.
AppPresser is fairly affordable, and offers a low barrier of entry for simple WordPress sites to create native apps. It's somewhat similar to AppMySite - both are best for basic websites with basic needs.
Like AppMySite, it's not be as good a fit for sites with more complex needs, such as WordPress plugins, themes or custom features they need to replicate in the app.
AppPresser is a little more expensive, but also offers a little more flexibility in the design of your app.
- Familiar WordPress-style customizer.
- Affordable option, starting at $79/mo.
- Takes some time to design your app and set it up the way you want.
- Reliant on the integrations and themes that AppPresser provides.
Pricing: $79-149 per month (paid monthly). Extra charges for custom development or additional push notifications.
Check out a detailed comparison between AppPresser and MobiLoud.
Appmaker is a no-code app builder that integrates with a few different platforms, including WordPress, WooCommerce and Shopify.
It features a drag-and-drop builder, a lot of design flexibility. You can power your app up via integrations with a large range of tools and features - such as plugins, analytics tools, ad networks, and social login portals (e.g. login with Google/Facebook/Apple).
While the options you have for building and customizing your app are extensive, you will need to do a lot of work to put your app together. You can import the content from your WordPress site, or integrate with your WooCommerce store, but you still need to essentially build your app design from scratch.
It’s also not going to support any themes, plugins or custom features you have on your website which you want to translate across to your mobile app.
- Extensive customization options.
- Supports features such as push notifications, monetization via AdMob, multilingual apps.
- Requires a lot of work to set up and design your app.
- Basic plan is very limited.
Pricing: $49 per month for Android-only basic plan; $199 per month for full feature set.
Appilix is an extremely simple option for WordPress sites that don’t have any particularly complex needs.
Their website claims you can create an app from your website in less than 5 minutes, and having tested it, that’s certainly true. There’s very little you need to do to get started - just sign up, enter your website URL, and customize a few design elements, such as your logo and splash screen.
Of course, there's a tradeoff with simplicity. Appilix is very limited, even more so than the other template-based app builders in this list.
If a bare-bones app is all you need, there's no cheaper option than Appilix. With one $49 payment, you can get a lifetime subscription (for one app). Unfortunately it’s only available for Android apps at this time, though they mention that iOS apps are coming soon.
- Fast and easy to go live.
- Affordable - publish your app for just $25/year, or a $49 lifetime subscription.
- Only supports Android at this time.
- Very limited customization options.
Pricing: free to preview your app; $25 per year to publish, or $49 for a lifetime subscription.
Wrapping Up - Convert WordPress Site to Mobile App with One of These Tools
So you’ve built a WordPress site, and you want to convert your site to mobile apps. Which of the tools above should you choose?
Each site’s needs are different, so there’s not necessarily a “one size fits all” answer. But here’s a quick summary to help you figure out which is the best fit for you.
MobiLoud: Best WordPress App Builder for Established Businesses
The most powerful, user-friendly option out there is MobiLoud. MobiLoud lets you take everything that already works on your website and convert it Android and iOS apps.
This includes your theme, plugins, and any other custom features that you rely on. You'll be able to provide a seamless experience across all platforms.
While other tools may have more app-specific customization options, such as a drag-and-drop builder for your app interface, this is not always the most effective way to go. It means a lot more work to get set up, and likely sacrificing some of the features from your website.
Another thing that separates MobiLoud is the service element. Most of the tools listed above are self-service software tools. They leave it up to you to build your mobile apps, and offer limited support going forward.
MobiLoud offers personalized support, and a team of experts to help with not only building your apps, but keeping your apps maintained.
For established businesses who are going to rely on their mobile apps to deliver revenue, it’s important that you’re not limited by cookie-cutter templates, and that you’ve got a support team behind you to make sure your apps continue to run smoothly.
Book a demo today to learn how MobiLoud can work for your website.
Best App Builders for Small Sites and Side-Hustles
MobiLoud offers the highest level of power, flexibility and support, but it does come with a more expensive price tag than some of the other app builders out there.
If you’re running a small site, one that might just be a side hustle rather than a full-time business, you might want something cheap and simple. In this case, AppMySite or AppPresser may be a better fit - or even Appilix if all you need is an extremely basic, bare-bones Android app for the lowest cost possible.
These tools make it easy to launch mobile apps on a budget. Just be aware that they come with limits, and you can’t expect much in the way of personalized support for this price. If you're a new startup, you can look into MobiLoud's early stage startup pricing, which cuts down the cost of your subscription by 50% for the first year.